The Night Of The Full Moon and Other Stories is a delightful collection of 41 short stories, several of which first appeared in Kartar Singh Duggal's twelfth collection of stories in Punjabi Ik Chhit Chanan Di which won the SahityaAkademi Award in 1965.
Published here in a translation by the author, this work effortlessly recreates not only the spontaneous flow ofthe original but also its rich variety of styles, its evocative nuances, and its subtle explorations of the human mind.
Each of the stories is distinct. The title story, "Night of the Full Moon" reveals the author's finely honed understanding of women's responses; "All Alone", in the form of a one-sided telephone, is an innovative exploration in technique; in "I am Hungry" Duggal portrays with startling vividness the bleakness of the deprived as well as the situations they live in.
The present volume, therefore is a representation of the writing of a leading Indian fiction writer who has published over 500 short stories in 22 collections. The stories reflect the Indian scene in its rare moments of agony and ecstasy, triumph and tribulation, harmony and discord.
Kartar Singh Duggal (b. 1917) took hi Master's degree from Punjab University. He is an outstanding author in Punjabi (with 26 volumes of short stories, 13 novels, 15 plays, eight volumes of poetry, two autobiographies, nine volumes of criticism and seven volumes of general writing), in Hindi (with 15 volumes of short stories, 12 novels, six plays, three one-act plays), in Urdu (with 3 volumes of short stories, 2 plays and 4 novels) and in English (with 8 volumes of short stories, 2 novels, one biography, a number of books on Sikh history and culture, several edited volumes, altogether making 41 works). This staggering statistics declare the fact that Duggal is a versatile and prolific writer who writes with equal ease in all the four languages.
Kartar Singh Duggal has been honoured with several awards and prizes including the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, the Padma Bhushan by the President of India for the totality of his contribution to Indian literature, the Sahitya Akademi Award for Short Story, the Ghalib Award for Drama, the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award for Novel, the Bhai Mohan Singh Vaid Award for Autobiography and the Soviet Land Nehru Award for promotion of peace and friendship through creative writing.
Having served as Director, All India Radio, Director, the National Book Trust, India and Adviser (Information), Planning Commission of India, he has retired from government service and presently devotes himself exclusively to creative writing.
The Sahitya Akaderni Award came to me in 1965. The work cited was my collection of short stories in Punjabt entitled Ik Chhit Chanan DL I had by then written some 200 short stories published in 12 collections.
Recently, the Akademi launched a welcome project aimed at publishing Award-wmnmg titles into various Indian languages. When the offer was made te me, I pleaded that as a short story writer I had travelled a long way since 1965 when I was honoured with the Award. Today I have 22 collections containing over 500 short stories to my credit. In order to be fair to my work as a short story writer, it was, therefore, agreed that I could include in the proposed volume a few of the later stories along with some of those figuring in the Award-winning title so that the collection offered is both representative and balanced.
While translating these stories from Punjabl, I have tried to retain the milieu and flavour of the original content as well as idiom as far as it was possible.
Some of these stories had been rendered into English earlier for odd journals and periodicals by friends like Khushwant Singh ('The Night of the Full Moon", "The Miracle", "Rain God and the Radio", and "A Pathan Pastoral"), Harbans Singh ("Come Back, My Master" and "The Sole Standby"), N. Iqbal Singh ('The Abducted" and "The Elusive Lover"), and Jamal Ara ('The Man in White" and "The Banked Fire") for which I am beholden to them.
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